Allergy/Asthma Information Association

Food Allergy Summer Camp 2006

Happy Campers from Another Successful Food Allergy Summer Camp at YoWoChAs, Alberta, Canada

To the Wonderful Group at Camp YoWoChAs

This was our daughter Emma's second year at Camp YoWoChAs... Her second year in the Food Allergy Prospectors week... Her second summer of fantastic memories, learning about herself and other teens with Food Allergies. We live in Calgary, so we always travel to Edmonton the night before and stay overnight before dropping Emma off for camp. She enjoyed last year so she was looking forward to this year. When we picked her up on Friday the 4th, she waved as she got off the bus, but went to get her bags with a group of friends. We just waited while she picked up her stuff, not wanting to break the mood of an obviously happy and heartfelt group goodbye.

Food Allergy Summer Camp
July 11 - August 4, 2006

Food Allergy Summer Camp YoWoChAs July 11 - August 4 2006

Emma got into the van with us as the last campers were moving away. She smiled and said 'That was the best week of the summer!' She talked all the way home to Calgary about her new friends, the great group leaders, the canoe trip, the hikes, the laughter and the relationships that will hopefully continue through emails and letters. The whole group from prospectors want to try and sign up for food allergy week next summer so that they can be together again!

I can't recommend this camp enough, but especially to young people with severe food allergies. The care and thought that is put into the meals is unbelievable. Every item on the menu is checked at the manufacturer's level for ingredients, traces of allergens or same plant production. The baker this year cleaned all of his equipment and baked all breads, buns and rolls for this camp and packaged and froze it separately before resuming his regular baking again. Anything that a food allergic child can't have is substituted with something that they can have. They never go without or miss out on the fun of desserts or campfire treats. Each child's menu is dealt with individually through conversation between the parent and Ms. Busse the dietician before camp starts. There is also a nurse at camp who is very vigilant about medications; what they are and when they are needed.

The life experiences that the food allergic kids gain from being with other food allergic kids is irreplaceable. No matter how much we as parents work with our kids, they never learn as much or take ownership of their allergies as much as when they can talk to peers with food allergies. Emma met a girl at this camp with the same allergies as her. They were able to talk about things like travelling with food allergies, sleep overs, birthday parties, school band camp and halloween with food allergies. They talked about going to high school and the social aspects of teaching others about your allergies and still just being one of the gang.

As a parent I would recommend this camp to any child, allergies or not! The leaders are fun and sensitive, but responsible and well trained. The whole camp experience has been a positive one for our daughter and for our family. We hope to be there again next year!!

Kerry Ferguson

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